Recruitment and Placement Solutions

“For 55 years, PRIDE Industries has provided business excellence with a social impact,” says Jeff Dern, President & Chief Executive Officer, of this pioneering social enterprise. “We provide competitive business services while pursuing our mission to create employment for people with disabilities.”


At the heart of PRIDE Industries’ 6,000 team members are 3,100 with disclosed disabilities. With National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October, the company is launching a helpline and an awareness campaign to pursue their goal of creating 100,000 jobs for people with disabilities.


“Annually in October, the Department of Labor promotes NDEAM to educate the public about disability employment issues and to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities. At PRIDE Industries, we take that concept even further,” says Leah Burdick, Chief Growth Officer. “Through print and online media, we strive to recognize our business partners for hiring people with disabilities or supporting an inclusive workforce.”

“NDEAM is important to us because one of our goals is to normalize workplace inclusion.”
– Jeff Dern, PRIDE Industries President & Chief Executive Officer

PRIDE Industries has launched the most comprehensive helpline of its kind. By dialing 844-I-AM-ABLE, people with disabilities can connect to helpful resources, job training, and employment opportunities. This helpline will be heavily promoted in California during NDEAM, with plans to expand nationally.


PRIDE Industries has created employment for thousands of people in jobs throughout this region over decades and encourages all employers to inspire other companies to include people with disabilities in their workplaces. “NDEAM is important to us because one of our goals is to normalize workplace inclusion,” explains Dern. “We do that all year, but this month is devoted to educate employers on why they should include people with disabilities when hiring.”


PRIDE Industries will continue its constant efforts to promote the employment and inclusion of people with disabilities, proving every day that their model for business excellence has a place for all abilities.

This article was originally published in Comstock’s Magazine in October 2021.

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Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.
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Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.

The social enterprise has been recognized for recruiting, hiring, and retaining veterans.

Roseville, Calif., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh recognized PRIDE Industries as the recipient of the 2021 HIRE Vets Medallion Gold Award during a Veterans Day virtual ceremony presented by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Medallion Program is the only federal award that recognizes employers who successfully recruit, hire, and retain veterans. It was made possible by the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act (HIRE Vets Act), which was passed by Congress in 2017.


“PRIDE Industries is honored to be recognized as a U.S. Department of Labor HIRE Vets Medallion Gold Award recipient,” said Jeff Dern, President and CEO of PRIDE Industries. “We continue to strengthen our longstanding relationship with veterans, Wounded Warriors, and our many veteran referral partners. This award further validates our unwavering commitment to employing and assisting the men and women who have so bravely served our country.”


PRIDE Industries joins companies from 49 states, plus the District of Columbia, who have shown a commitment to hiring veterans and ensuring they have a long-term career plan that allows them to leverage the diverse skills they acquired through their military service. Recipients of the 2021 HIRE Vets Medallion Award meet rigorous employment and veteran integration assistance criteria. Companies are judged by their veteran hiring and retention percentages, veteran-specific resources, leadership programming for veterans, dedicated human resource efforts, and pay compensation and tuition assistance programs for veterans.


PRIDE Industries recognizes that the experience veterans gain serving our country makes them valuable employees. The company provides job readiness, coaching, and employment placement assistance to hundreds of military veterans every year. Its many resources for veterans include a new I-AM-ABLE employment helpline [(844) 426-2253], a dedicated Veterans Liaison, and a Military Skills Translator tool that helps veterans match their skills and talent to a civilian career. In addition, PRIDE Industries can help veterans access paid internships, as well as mentoring and training programs. And to help other companies increase their hiring of diverse candidates, including veterans, last year the company launched its Inclusive Talent Solutions service.


“Veterans represent one of our nation’s richest talent groups, and this award really belongs to them,” said Dern. “These dedicated men and women not only volunteered to serve our country, but now continue to contribute by working in the civilian sector of our economy.

About PRIDE Industries

PRIDE Industries delivers business excellence with a positive social impact. A social enterprise, we provide facilities operations and maintenance services, custodial services, contract manufacturing, supply chain management, packaging and fulfillment services, and staffing and recruitment services to private and public organizations nationwide. Founded in 1966, PRIDE Industries’ mission is to create employment for people with disabilities. Through personalized employment services, we help individuals realize their true potential and lead more independent lives. PRIDE Industries proves the value of its inclusive workforce model through operational success across multiple industries every day. Learn more at

About the HIRE Vets Medallion Program

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is earned by businesses that demonstrate unparalleled commitment toattracting, hiring, and retaining veterans. The 2022 HIRE Vets Medallion Award application period will open to employers on Jan. 31, 2022. For more information about the program and the application process, visit

Are you a veteran?

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Kat Maudru

PRIDE Industries is a social enterprise delivering business excellence to public and private organizations nationwide.

Casino Hits Jackpot when PRIDE Industries Outperforms Previous Provider

Thunder Valley Casino Resort is a AAA Four-Diamond premier destination resort in Lincoln, California. This world-class facility hosts a 17-story luxury hotel with 408 rooms and 46 suites, as well as a large banquet and entertainment hall, meeting rooms, bars, a pool, a full-service spa, and a gift shop.


As the region’s premier luxury hotel and casino, Thunder Valley hosts 3.1 million guests annually. With this high number of guests comes an equally high volume of laundry, and the resort was sending it to a cleaning facility 90 miles away in Napa. In 2019, Thunder Valley built an in-house facility to improve quality control and eliminate shipping time and costs. The next step was to hire a company that could reliably handle a high work volume and effectively supplement its workforce.


The new 6,000-square-foot in-house laundry facility would handle 1,000 pounds of laundry each hour, and the casino needed a reliable workforce. Thunder Valley turned to PRIDE Industries’ staffing services to hire multiple work teams of three people with developmental disabilities and one job coach, overall 30 employees, 23 with a disability, to staff its laundry facilities.

Services Provided

  • In-house daily laundry services
  • 30 employees, 23 with a disability
  • Recruiting


  • >10K pounds of laundry cleaned per day
  • 6K pounds volume increase over the previous service provider
  • Reduced environmental footprint due to the elimination of shipping laundry offsite
  • Skilled and reliable employees with low turnover
  • An increased appreciation for a diverse and inclusive workforce
Thunder Valley logo


6,000 sq. ft.

in-house laundry facility


pounds of laundry cleaned per day


employees with a documented disability

“PRIDE’s partnership and commitment help us achieve our goals with quality results while providing opportunities and training for people with disabilities in the community.”

Amazon logo seen at Amazon campus in Palo Alto, California. The Palo Alto location hosts A9 Search, Amazon Web Services, and Amazon Game Studios teams.
Case Study:

Amazon Chooses PRIDE Industries as the First to Join its Alternative Workforce Supplier Program delivers almost a million packages to people’s front doorsteps every day and is known for its fast delivery. Achieving this quick turnaround requires hundreds of dedicated and motivated employees to sort and pack items accurately, making staffing a crucial function for the company.


As part of its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), Amazon launched the Alternative Workforce Supplier Program (AWSP) in 2016. This innovative staffing initiative is tailored to meet the needs of individuals who have traditionally faced obstacles to entering and advancing in the workplace.

To meet its ambitious DEI goals, Amazon sought organizations in each geographical market who had expertise in recruiting, assessing, and supporting people with disabilities. More importantly, they needed companies with a track record of filling roles in a high-volume environment like Amazon’s.


  • Amazon chose PRIDE Industries as its first nonprofit agency (NPA) to quickly scale its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative – the Alternative Workforce Supplier Program.
  • PRIDE Industries was chosen for our decades of experience and longstanding relationship with the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR).
  • As an AbilityOne®provider, PRIDE Industries hires, trains, and continuously supports employees who have significant disabilities.
  • We developed assessments, job counseling, and job simulations at a mock warehouse for screening candidates.
  • We created a specialized team of Job Coaches and Employment Relationship Coordinators who were responsible for training, coaching, and supporting over 300 new team members, 90% of whom had a disclosed disability.
  • Given our results, the initial contract was expanded to include 12 Amazon PRIME Now sites.
  • When Amazon eventually chose to bring its AWS program in-house, they adopted PRIDE Industries training methods developed for their warehouses.

Services Provided

  • Interviews of candidates referred by local partners
  • Assessment of candidate skills and interests
  • Help with the coordination of employee transportation to job sites
  • Reviews of employment soft skills, such as punctuality and communication
  • Employee training for jobs such as Associate, Yard Hostler, and Water Spider, for both Sortation and PRIME Now warehouses


Through its partnership with PRIDE Industries, was able to make a positive social impact without sacrificing business excellence:

  • Amazon achieved its goal of increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in its workforce.
  • Hundreds of individuals with disabilities were successfully employed and received continuous on-the-job support.
  • The productivity level of employees with disabilities consistently met or exceeded average site productivity levels.
  • Because PRIDE Industries exceeded its contract requirements, Amazon asked PRIDE Industries to extend its services beyond California into two additional sites in Nevada.

“PRIDE Industries has been a fantastic partner in helping Amazon hire people with disabilities. We are excited to hire more talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, and our partnership with PRIDE Industries helped us expand this goal.”

Amazon logo



people with disabilities placed

Contract expansion​

to 12 Amazon PRIME Now sites

Sites served

California & Nevada

“PRIDE Industries has been a fantastic partner in helping Amazon hire people with disabilities. We are excited to hire more talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, and our partnership with PRIDE Industries helped us expand this goal.”

Grow your business with a diverse workforce

Find out how PRIDE Industries can help you recruit, hire, and retain inclusive talent.

Mat Baker’s career as a learning trainer began after joining PRIDE Industries’ job placement assistance program in 2018, which landed him a position at Amazon. The journey wasn’t always easy, as a severe anxiety disorder initially prevented him from interacting with others or seeking a job. Employment with Amazon gave Mat the confidence and skills to overcome these obstacles and earn several promotions.

Job Placement Assistance for People with Anxiety

Mat suffered from severe panic attacks and anxiety his entire life. This prevented him from interacting with others, especially in large crowds. “At the same time, staying at home in isolation gave me a feeling of inadequacy, causing more anxiety,” he said. “It was a vicious cycle that felt impossible to overcome.”  


Others with severe anxiety face similar challenges. For this reason, each of PRIDE’s job coaches works one-on-one with candidates to assess their needs, create a goal plan, and help them prepare for successful job placement.  


“Just two years later, so much has changed!” Mat said. “I am employed as a learning trainer at Amazon’s Sortation Center in Vacaville, CA. I feel comfortable in what is a very hands-on position—I help train new hires and manage 60 Ambassadors to coach other associates. I’m part of a large team; all of us work together to make sure our customers get their packages on time!”


Working closely with his job coach at PRIDE Industries made all the difference for Mat. “From day one, PRIDE provided the foundation for my amazing growth,” he said. “This journey would not have happened without their job coaches. They showed me exactly what to expect and checked on me every step of the way. Job Coach Jarmar Pearson advocated for me every day, and I can’t thank him enough!”

Mat’s Ongoing Growth After Job Placement

Since day one at his new job, Mat’s confidence has grown and he went on to earn a promotion. Every step of the way, Mat’s job coach advocated for him, ensuring he had the support he needed from PRIDE and from his new Amazon team.


“This was my first job, and at the beginning, it felt daunting having to work with so many people. And there was so much to learn!” Mat shared. “But using techniques from therapy, I was able to keep a positive attitude and overcome these challenges. I remember asking the learning trainers follow-up questions, and they were always patient with me, helping to build my confidence, and speak up more.”


Mat began to realize his hard work was paying off when managers began requesting him in their areas. “I knew I could move up. When a learning trainer asked me to become an ambassador, I signed up immediately. Since I had to interact with up to 10 new hires every day, I gradually felt less anxious around others.” Thanks to his determination and targeted job placement assistance from PRIDE, Mat was proudly overcoming his anxiety and thriving at work.

Continued Advancement and Career Success

Mat continued to make an impression on the leadership team at work. “The learning trainers and the learning coordinator encouraged me to apply for a job as a seasonal trainer. Despite the fierce competition for this position, I got the job. Even though I joined during our peak season, when Amazon hires thousands of people, I rose to the challenge and earned the respect of my team. I was hired permanently in February 2020. I am proud of my ability to overcome the difficulties related to my disability. It’s exciting to realize that two years ago, I was a nervous associate coached by a learning trainer; now, I am the one teaching others! This incredible experience has created positive changes throughout my whole life.”


“It’s been a long, rewarding road, and now the sky is the limit,” Mat said. “I plan on becoming a learning coordinator or an area manager. Trust me when I say I won’t be stopping here!”

Need employment placement support?

Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.
Mat Baker
Mat Baker

“No words can express my gratitude for the support, the encouragement, and the hope that PRIDE has given other associates with disabilities and me. I love my job.”

Roughly half a million Americans use American Sign Language, or ASL. However, applicants who are deaf often face barriers to employment due to a lack of understanding of ASL translation resources. Despite their qualifications, these individuals struggle to secure positions in their chosen industry. 


PRIDE Industries provides employment services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to help bridge the communication gap between employers and applicants. Employment services include assistive technology, on-site video translation, ASL interpreters, and ASL-trained job coaches.  

Sezne Hernandez, Deaf Interpreter

Meet Sezne Hernandez, Deaf Interpreter

Generous donors make it possible for PRIDE Industries to offer the PRIDE Ascend program, a training initiative that empowers people with disabilities to gain technical skills and attain industry-based certifications in El Paso, TX, and Sacramento, CA. 


Participants receive an assessment and meet with PRIDE’s dedicated staff to explore career interests and job placement. Accommodations and instruction are tailored to each individual while they receive the training needed for the workplace to ensure success.


Job Developer Sezne Hernandez has been with PRIDE Ascend since 2016. She has worked with several businesses in the El Paso region to place people with disabilities.


“I started learning American Sign Language in 2014, after finishing my general education courses at El Paso Community College (EPCC). I was enrolled in classes at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) to study speech therapy. My college advisor suggested I return to EPCC to complete a few ASL classes to accommodate any potential clients who are deaf or hard of hearing.


I signed up for one class and became hooked. Observing my professor who is deaf working together with his interpreter interested me so much that I decided to continue studying ASL. I earned an Associates of Applied Science in Sign Language / Interpreter Preparation with a Certificate of Completion in American Sign Language-Deaf Studies.


I completed state-required courses through the University of North Texas’ Workplace Inclusion & Sustainable Employment (UNTWISE). I am Texas-certified as a Job Coach and Job Developer and provide sign language interpretation. In July 2016, I was hired as a Job Coach/ASL Interpreter at PRIDE Ascend in El Paso, TX, and promoted to Job Developer in 2018. I am expanding my skillset with Vocational Adjustment Training (VAT) to support clients in other programs that PRIDE Ascend provides.”E

Full Range of Employment Services for the Deaf

Sezne works with 15 to 20 individuals at a time to prepare and place them in employment. Like many of PRIDE Ascend’s members, her services include:  

  • conducting employment training
  • tailoring resumes
  • practicing interviewing 
  • supporting pre-employment training for individuals referred to PRIDE 
  • assisting clients with job applications and with navigating through the interview process.

While meeting with different employers to establish partnerships, Sezne passionately explains how PRIDE partners with businesses to meet their needs by providing qualified candidates. She also shares PRIDE’s range of services, such as on the job support and trial internship opportunities (funded by PRIDE’s generous donors). 


“Some employers are intrigued by our unique services and mission; however, some are skeptical,” she says. “Often, I serve as an educator to help change the common stereotype that an individual’s disability will affect their performance.”

Once clients are hired, Sezne facilitates job coaching to provide support and guidance during the initial job transition and to check on their progress throughout their employment. She also ensures that both the employer and employee continually overcome obstacles to communication, such as properly using video relay services. 


“My most memorable moment was job coaching a client on a construction site last year. Initially, the owner was skeptical if the client could do their required job or drive a vehicle. However, after hiring the client, the ‘bridge’ to success was created. The client began conversing with his team, introduced Deaf culture to them, and we worked together to teach his colleague’s sign language and gestures. His team opened up, and the client began to thrive. He became a manager only after three months!

Need employment placement support?

Contact our I AM ABLE Helpline to discuss your options.

“It’s always the best feeling when my clients get a job, especially if they have been searching for a long time. It encourages me to be a part of someone’s life success.”